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Business Writing

Don’t Be So Punny

daily show logo

This Daily Show segment, while aimed at news shows, rings true for business communicators, too.  If you rely on puns to make a point, you’ll lose your audience. Get real! Have you ever had a pun backfire?  Got a story to share?  I’m compiling a Hall of Shame on this …

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Is it a Slogan or a Key Message?

In the continuing discussion of key messages in your business writing, here’s a quick example of how a slogan can reflect underlying key messages. “An MBA who writes like an English Major” is a slogan, which carries forth a couple of my key messages: As an MBA writing for business …

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Key Messages that Resonate

Here’s an example of how two bankruptcy law practices’ key messages reflect different business models. Key messages will resonate with certain audiences and be dissonant with others. Use the messages that resonate with YOUR audiences and don’t muddy the waters trying to be all things to everyone. Decide which audience you want for …

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How to work with a Ghost Writer

People ask me all the time if there’s A WAY to work with a ghostwriter. Chemistry and work preferences vary so  I can only answer by describing the way I work with my clients. Choose a writer who knows YOUR stuff Before you hire someone to write for you, be …

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Argh! Piracy in the Newsletter

engraving of Blackbeard

Today I received a newsletter from a small human resources consulting company featuring an excellent article on disengaged workers. Too bad the newsletter sender didn’t make clear what the writer’s relationship to the firm is. The newsletter only included her name — not even a proper byline. Problems with this …

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Mark Twain, The First Blogger?

Tamela Rich & bust of Mark Twain in Hannibal, MO 2010

Can’t wait to sink my teeth into the new Autobiography of Mark Twain. I went to his birthplace, Hannibal, MO this summer on my road trip. Reading reviews of this great work, which Twain wouldn’t allow to be published until 100 years after his death, I found this in a …

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Strategy First, SPAM-Avoidance Second

WOW, it feels good when a stranger calls from two time zones away and says “Thanks to you I know everything I’ve been doing wrong.” Disgusted by his email campaigns’ lousy open rate, he turned to Google. My blog posts kept turning up in his searches, where he learned that …

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You’re Only Fooling Yourself

Last week, under the presumption of sending me St. Patrick’s Day greetings, I got this from a life insurance agent who likes to pose as a financial advisor: St. Patrick’s Day is quickly approaching. Even if you’re not Irish, you still get an Irish Blessing to hold on to for …

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Home Office Design Tips — From a Financial Advisor?

In my occasional series of crappy newsletters, here’s another, sent by a financial planner. [warning]This month’s issue focuses on creating the perfect home office and some innovative ideas to help you save money. Please take the time to read below and learn what tips may work for you.[/warning] The only …

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Oriental Rugs & Business Writing

True story: I was once written up for using college level vocabulary on the job. Yes, it was in a written performance evaluation. No, I was not writing for a living at the time; was running a line of business. You might not guess that my employer was a bank, …

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